Seven greatest world sporting moments


In choosing the 7 greatest sporting moments of all time, the first thing which must be eliminated is parochialism – that one’s own sporting moments dominate the selection.

An example of this is the Wikipedia list of greatest moments, as chosen by a British poll.  Naturally, it was heavily biased towards UK events.  An American poll would include heaps of baseball and football and one mentioned “The shot heard round the world–The Yankees of the 1960” and Bill Mazeroski. Who?  The Brits mention Prince Nazeem and the Americans ask, “Who?”

Nor is it enough to judge by how international  the sport is or how many people remember it round the world.  There might have been an amazing triumph in an obscure part of the globe.  Perhaps the criteria are that it had to defy the odds, be a first, be at the elite level and make its way beyond its native shores.

I’m thinking of some Super Bowl triumphs which most people have never seen or some cricket highlights no Americans have ever seen.

So, in no particular order, these are mine from the 50s onwards:

1.  Nadia Comaneci’s perfect 10

2. Australia 2 lifting the America’s Cup after 132 years, a deed which saw both crews on the White House lawn with Ronald Reagan

3. Eddie the Eagle’s popularity at the Calgary Olympics

4. Germany, virtually destroyed after the war, took on the mighty Hungarian side in 1954 who had already beaten them 8-3 and they lifted the World Cup

5. The “Three Second Match” in which the USSR defeated the USA in basketball after one of the longest winning streaks. The American team refused their silver medals.

6. USA defeats the USSR in 1980 in the hockey Olympics

7. Roger Bannister’s mile

5 comments for “Seven greatest world sporting moments

  1. October 17, 2009 at 19:41

    Good choices. I’ll have to think of my own

  2. dearieme
    October 17, 2009 at 21:06

    Edwards’ try for the Ba-bas vs the Blacks; something with Bradman (preferably, a small voice whispers, his evasive action vs Bodyline).

  3. October 17, 2009 at 21:42

    Jams – anticipating those.

    Dearieme – I lost your selections as they weren’t in a listening post and I can’t find them. If you’d care to …

  4. October 18, 2009 at 13:49

    Interesting. This isn’t a criticism of your post but I find it fascinating the way the history of sport is such a twentieth century thing- sport itself being the same- all these competitions and teams did not exist before the late nineteenth century. I wonder how sport history will look when there are several centuries to it.

  5. October 18, 2009 at 15:30

    If indeed it still exists then – it might have reverted to blood sports again by then. In my novel, this in fact happens and the government reinstitutes public executions, which largely take the place of sport, which people no longer have the mood for.

    Don’t worry about criticizing the blog, Tiberius – that’s what it’s here for. 🙂

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